Thousands back tent appeal for North East homeless
Posted on Tuesday 20 September 2016
An appeal has launched to help homeless people in the North East get access to shelter this winter.
North East Homeless is a new group set up on social media, asking people to donate any clothes, shoes, blankets and now tents for people sleeping rough in our region.
It’s attracted more than 4000 members, with some volunteers identifying vulnerable people across Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside before taking supplies to them.
Brian Burridge, behind the group, tells us they’ve picked up more than 60 tents so far. He says it’s vital to help the homeless in any way they can as the nights become darker and colder. He said:
“I keep on saying to people when it’s raining go and stand outside for five minutes, now imagine that all night. I couldn’t do it.
“I was just asking for blankets and little bits and bobs and now we’re hitting around 4,500 people and about 60 tents now, but we need more, we need more tents and sleeping bags and gloves.
“The tents are about £14.99, they’re the cheapest tents you can get but they’ll get people through a cold winter. It could be a matter of saving someone’s life.”
Chris was given a tent by volunteers when he was sleeping rough in Whitley Bay. He said:
“It was somewhere I could crawl into, keep away from the rain. I felt much safe, nobody could see my still. Without the tent I don’t know what I’d have done, I honestly don’t.
“Going from what I had to absolutely nowhere, just the sky as my ceiling, was absolutely terrifying. You didn’t know what might happen to you, you hear about people getting attacked all of the time.”